The Role of Nurses Inside and Outside the Hospital
Registered nurses encompass one of the biggest segments of the workforce in the United States with over 3 million registered nurses in the country. Now because of a combination of new regulations, changing policies, and the aging population, America is about to experience a major nursing shortage – This issue is also being discussed in the UK and Europe, not to mention South America and Africa being always in need of professional nurses. In short, the world over, we need great nurses more than ever.
International Nurses Day is here again and we want to take the time to shed light on what makes nurses so valuable to hospitals and their communities.
The Role of Nurses in the Hospital
Nurses affect human lives by the very nature of their profession, nurses are the backbone of hospitals.
One of the most important role of the nurse in a hospital is that of a patient advocate. Nurses spend more time with patients than their doctors do. Often nurses might have to step in and advise the doctor to take a different approach due to the unique circumstances of their patient. Without nurses, patients would not be able to receive the quality of care at the scale that is necessary for hospitals to care for large groups of people at once.
Many nurses dedicate their careers to specializing in specific practice areas or skill sets (e.g. ICU, CRNA) that make them an invaluable asset to any medical team. These nurses comprise multidisciplinary teams that care for patients with complex disorders that require a wide breadth of specialized knowledge and experience.
Nurses are also the eyes and ears of the hospital. They know which healthcare products work best, they refine the processes for patient care, and they identify excessive waste and other inefficiencies.
In fact, all Elcam Safety products are inspired by nurses who want to improve the healthcare environment for patients and staff. For example, the Marvelous Stopcock, which is designed to improve the safety of the patients by reducing risks of bloodstream infections and drug residues, and the staff safety concerning blood and drug spills and needle stick injuries.
How Nurses Can Positively Impact Their Communities
Nurses take on challenges that extend beyond the hospital doors. According to the International Council of Nurses, there are 17 sustainable development goals of modern nurses, for example:
- No poverty, no hunger
- Improved nutrition, clean water and sanitation
- Good health and well-being
- Quality education
- Gender equality and reduced inequalities
- Decent work and sustainable economic growth
(See the complete list here )
That might sound idealistic, but there are very practical ways nurses do impact their communities and work towards achieving these goals.
Here are 5 examples of how nurses improve their communities:
- Providing the same quality of care to rich and poor patients
- Treating male and female patients equally
- Educating patients on proper hygiene, optimal nutrition, and overall health practices
- Providing birth control education to young women
- Collaborating within hospital systems and the legislative system to improve the nursing profession
Great nurses love people and have the ability to influence others in a way that sticks with them long after they leave the hospital.
How Nurses Can Become Better Leaders
It has become apparent that nurses must understand the true value they provide and to make their voices heard. Part of spreading their message more effectively is becoming a better leader.
The first step to becoming a better leader as a nurse is advancing your education and growing your expertise. The more knowledge and skill you possess, the more you can contribute. Certifications and other advanced learning courses are great options for registered nurses.
The other crucial step is getting more involved in leadership roles in hospitals and other medical organizations. Nurses have an incredible point of view that other healthcare leaders need to hear and learn from. To create change, nurses must be proactive and challenge the current standards.
At Elcam, we aim to improve healthcare by equipping nurses and other staff members with safe, more effective medical devices. However, it would not be possible for us to supply so many hospitals without the approval and recommendation of the nurses who use our products .
Nurses affect human lives by the very nature of their profession. In the ICU and as CRNAs this is even more so due to the high pressured nature of these departments and the complex conditions of the patients. Nurses have an impact, wherever they go, inside and outside the hospital. On May 12th, we should all celebrate nurses and their dedication to people.
- http://www.icn.ch/images/stories/ documents/ publications/ind/ ICN AVoice ToLead guidancePack EN Lowres.pdf
- https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive /2016/02/ nursing-shortage/459741/
- https://www.nursingtimes.net/roles/nurse-managers/nhs-to-face-chronic nurse shortage by-2016/5059871.article
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/ 19/96-per-cent-hospitals-have nurse shortages-official-figures/
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